HDI Hosted Visit of Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) to the Republic of Sudan

Dr. Jannette Yarwood, Dr. Al Khalafalla, Congresswoman Karen Bass, and U.S. Charge’ Steve Koutsis in front of U.S. Embassy Khartoum

The visit was in collaboration with the American Global Institute (AGI).  Rep. Bass is Chair of the Congressional Africa, Global health, Human Rights, and International Organizations Subcommittee. Congresswoman Bass was accompanied by Senior Advisor on Africa and Staff Director of the Subcommittee Dr. Jannette Yarwood.


Congresswoman Bass met with Members of the Sudanese National Assembly and was greeted at the National Parliament by the Speaker.  These meetings focused on improving U.S. – Sudan legislative links and issues around the removing Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List.  Rep. Bass and Dr. Yarwood toured the Parliament and met with legislators.  U.S. Embassy Khartoum also hosted several briefings for Rep. Bass at the Embassy and at the Residence of Steven Koutsis, the Chargé d’Affaires. These included consultations on sensitive issues and meetings with several opposition groups.


During their visit to Sudan Rep. Bass and Dr. Yarwood met with civil society groups working on numerous issues such as women’s rights, small enterprise innovation, higher education, and others.


HDI and AGI have organized several delegations to Sudan since November 2015.  The delegations have been immensely useful in having Members of Congress advocate for a lifting of sanctions and removing Sudan from the list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism List”.  These are important steps for greatly improved relations between the United States and Sudan.   Additional Congressional delegations will focus on how banking and financial transactions between the Sudan and the United States could be regularized and on how to promote more educational and cultural exchanges.  These activities are designed to improve the climate for Western trade and investment in Sudan.

Congresswoman Karen Bass, U.S. Charge’ Steve Koutsis, and HDI Chair Dr. Al Khalafalla